Academic collaboration, practical experience and job opportunities
Make your higher education and future more relevant and exciting by collaborating with employers. Having some prior work experience is vital when applying for a job and staking out the course for your professional career. Read on for advise on how to approach working life as a student.
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Are you about to write a project assignment, bachelor- or master's thesis? We recommend that you write your assignment in collaboration with an external partner! At NTNU Bridge you will find many exciting employers and relevant tasks. These can be found under Announcements.
How to get started:
- Create a profile on NTNU Bridge
- Find a task that interests you
- Discuss the topic with your department or potential supervisors
- Contact the employer, send any application and documentation as required
- Agree on a topic outline, roles and a project timeline with the employer and your supervisor
Sign a written agreement before starting the collaboration. Find more information about Student and business cooperative agreements
If you have ideas for a thesis that you want to collaborate on, you can directly contact employers who have a profile on NTNU Bridge. First, make sure your programme of study allows for writing a thesis in collaboration with an external partner, and involve your supervisor as soon as possible. Use the Employer list to search for and reach out to potential partners.
In addition to the internal supervision you receive at NTNU, we encourage partners to provide at least 20 hours of external supervision / follow-up through a master's thesis. Unless otherwise agreed upon, the student holds the copyright to his/her thesis or project assignment.
If you collaborate with an external partner, you might get a refund for travel and other expenses. Read more about the travel scholarship.
As a student you have ample opportunity to get involved in various work, both paid and unpaid. Many students have supervised professional training as a mandatory or optional part of their education. Many do this as summer work. Others travel abroad. This gives valuable professional experience and network before you finish your degree.
Another great way to gain practical experience is through one of the many student organizations at NTNU. They will allow you to get more involved in culture, media, humanitarian work, politics and of course your own field of study.
In Norway, practical experience is highly valued among many employers, even if it is not directly relevant for the position or your academic background. It gives you the chance to prove that you can deliver on a given task, and references to back this up.
While you study
Part-time or summer jobs are another great way to gain valuable practical experience during your studies. It also helps pay your rent! The job does not have to be academically relevant, all experience counts! In time, you may become more picky about what jobs you are applying for.
Through summer jobs and part-time jobs, you become better acquainted with the labor market and yourself as an employee. What kind of skills and characteristics are in demand? Which tasks and working methods are best for you? You may want to get acquainted with the labor market early in your studies. Read job announcements, attend career fairs and company presentations. Talk to fellow students, faculty and alumni for advice on how to improve your employability. You have great freedom and many opportunities as a student. Use this period wisely!
Your first employment after graduation does not necessarily define the rest of your career. It is the combined skills you acquire through your education, part time work, volunteering and so on, combined with your personal qualities, that form your overall competencies. Throughout your career, your expertise will develop further and grant you access to new positions and responsibilities. Many employers will be just as concerned with your practical experience as your grade transcript. It is your job to present the value of your education and how your overall competencies is relevant to the positions you are applying for.
You can learn more about how to map your competencies at NTNU Career.
Internships or trainee positions can be a good stepping stone for your career. They are usually tailored for recent graduates, last for a set period of time and contain some level of professional training. In some cases you work for several employers during that period, gaining more diverse experiences and professional network. Many students are offered full-time work afterwards. Internship and trainee-positions are usually announced early each year.
Curious about what former students do professionally? In 2022 NTNU conducted a extensive candidate study. The results are available in an online portal, where you can filter results by your faculty, campus or programme of study.
Check out NTNU's Candidate Survey (Norwegian)